How to Install a Programmable Thermostat on a Window Air Unit


Installing a programmable thermostat on a window air conditioner is a good idea, and it's easy. A programmable thermostat can save you money by turning off the air conditioner when you're away during the day, yet it can have the house cool for you when you arrive home at night. Fortunately, plug-in programmable thermostats are available; these eliminate the need for dedicated wiring. Simply plug the thermostat into the wall outlet, and plug the air conditioning unit into the thermostat.

  • Unplug the air conditioner from the wall outlet.

  • Set the current day and time on the thermostat. Consult the instructions for your thermostat.

  • Program the thermostat. Most plug-in programmable thermostats have weekday and weekend settings, with up to four on/off cycles per day. Thermostats vary, so consult the instruction manual for your thermostat.

  • Switch the thermostat control to run, set the heat/cool switch to heat, and switch the air conditioner to on.

  • Plug the thermostat into the wall, and plug the air conditioner into the thermostat.

Tips & Warnings

  • Program the air conditioner to come on about half an hour before you're due home, and you'll arrive to a cool house.
  • Programmable plug-in thermostats also can control space heaters.
  • Most plug-in thermostats will handle up to a 15-amp load. Don't exceed your thermostat's load rating.

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  • Photo Credit window air conditioner image by Aaron Kohr from
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